An armed man who was shot Monday by law enforcement as they were pursuing a stolen vehicle on Interstate 16 in Emanuel County remains in a Savannah hospital, being treated for injuries sustained in the exchange of gunfire.
Larry Eugene Jones of Orlando, Florida, was driving the stolen “bobtail” truck — one without a trailer — when Treutlen County sheriff’s deputies spotted it and identified it as having been stolen from Laurens County, said Emanuel County Sheriff J. Tyson Stephens in a statement released Tuesday.
Treutlen County law enforcement pursued the truck, driven by Jones, into Emanuel County on Interstate 16 around 3:45 p.m. Monday, he said. Emanuel County law enforcement, including Georgia State Patrol Post 19 troopers, then joined in the chase, and when Jones, 57, refused to stop, they deployed “stop sticks” that deflated his tires, Stephens said.
The truck was halted near mile marker 92.
“After stopping, the driver produced a handgun,” Stephens said. “Shots were fired that resulted in the suspect being struck. He was airlifted to Savannah for treatments. No officers were injured.”
While the Emanuel County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the criminal aspects of Jones’ alleged acts, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Region 12 office is handling the officer-involved shooting, he said.
Officers involved in the shooting were Treutlen County sheriff’s deputies and Oak Park police officers, but Stephens did not disclose their identities.
Once he is cleared and released from the hospital, Jones will be taken to the Emanuel County Jail, charged with aggravated assault against a peace officer, terroristic threats and acts, obstruction and theft by receiving stolen property, as well as fleeing and attempt to elude, Stephens said.
Emanuel County sheriff’s Chief Deputy Rocky Davis said that it is policy to have the GBI investigate officer-involved shootings.
Middle Judicial Circuit District Attorney Heyward Altman said additional charges against Jones are expected.
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.